Title: Blood Heir
Author: Amélie Wen Zhao
Series: Blood Heir Trilogy #1
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: November 19th 2019
Synopsis: “In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.
When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.
A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.”
“Perhaps monsters never meant to hurt others, either. Perhaps monsters didn’t even know they were monsters.”
Blood Heir is a fast-paced fantasy that follows the story of Ana, the princess of the Cirilian Empire who at a young age emerges as an Affinite. Affinites are those who possess magic, usually in regards to the elements except Ana, who has the super rare Affinity for blood. By this I mean she can control anything with blood and can even rip all the blood out of someone’s body. It’s pretty hardcore. Affinites are feared and not well-liked throughout the Empire and when her Affinite emerges, her father tells the kingdom she is a sickly child and cannot be out in public anymore(think poor Elsa in Frozen except Ana gets very extreme sessions from “healers” to try to force her Affinite away.) When Ana’s father is murdered, Ana finds herself being framed for it and must flee her home and try to find the evidence she needs to prove her innocence and save her kingdom.
“She was the bearing to his compass, the dawn that his ship had been chasing for so long over an empty horizon. My heart is my compass.”
Ana’s quest for innocence leads her to Ransom Quicktongue, a criminal who is well-known for his ability at finding things. The two make an unlikely pair who are each trying to prove their innocence. As fate would have it, their paths were meant to cross as they soon realize that the two of them have a person of interest that was involved in each of their downfalls.
““The Deities have long sent me a message through their silence.” A steely glow sharpened Morganya’s gaze. “It is not their duty to grant us goodness in this world, Kolst Pryncessa. No, Little Tigress— it is up to us to fight our battles in this world.””
Blood Heir is a dual POV story, with it shifting between Ana and Ransom throughout. Out of the two, Ransom was my favorite. He was witty and sly, and a not very great man who really starts to become morally better after meeting Ana. And the banter between Ransom and Ana was A+. Rather than staying the selfish man he had become, he finds himself outwardly trying to help those in need. Ana was a very ignorant and naive girl, but that was because of her upbringing. Once she is out of the castle and on her own in the world Ana is shown just how corrupt the kingdom is and how vile Affinites are really treated in the real world. Her mission goes from being simply for her innocence proven, to trying to help dismantle the slave trading of the Affinites once her eyes are opened to the injustice going on.
“Who had determined that Affinites were less worthy of love, of being human, and why? Simply on the basis that they were … different?”
I really enjoyed Blood Heir. The storytelling was engrossing and I found myself reading this into the wee hours of the morning. It was a complexly developed world, which is my favorite when magic is involved. I can’t wait to learn even more about Ana and Ransom’s journey in the second book and honestly, that cliffhanger ending got me so bad I am still reeling from it. I am giving this a 4 out of 5 stars.
*e-book provided in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing the copy!